What Happens When Labels Fail?
A label isn’t just a label. A lot can go wrong when you decide on using the wrong label for your application. Label failure often happens because people choose to use cheaper supplies, even when they’ve invested in a top-of-the-line printer.
The truth is that even the best printers can’t save you from having the wrong label. And when you do, productivity and efficiency can plumet. Plus, you’re looking at creating a host of problems for your customers.
Here are the types of failures that can occur when using the wrong label:
- Poor Print Quality
Cheap labels can often lead to print quality issues. It’s easy to think it might be a printer issue, but if you can’t read a label, it might be the label or applicator itself.
If you do have a print quality issues, you can try making adjustments on your printer, including calibrating your Zebra printers. You should also review the media size and print preferences like margin values, darkness, etc. Finally, you should check your printer speed and make sure. If you are getting partially printed labels, this could be a significant factor.
- Adhesive Failures
Is your label not sticking to the box? Most likely it’s an adhesive issue. Adhesive failures can happen for many reasons. First, you must select the right type of Adhesive. Zebra has more than ten types, for example, so you can find the one that’s specific to your application.
If you have an adhesive failure, you can first look to see if there is contamination. Grease, oil, or other contaminants can create a layer that prohibits your label from sticking correctly to its surface. All of your equipment and surfaces should be cleaned regularly.
Other issues include your environment (temperature, etc.) and your application technique. All should be reviewed if you are using high-quality labels and not getting the performance you expect.
- Scanning Issues
Labels that look good may still have problems in the field. One area that can cause headaches for you is print scanning issues. There are many potential problems and solutions for this issue.
Here are a few situations you might encounter. Your barcodes may look good on the label, but when scanned, they read poorly or outright fail. Labels can also look good but be too dark for the scanner. You could have the incorrect darkness setting, or the print contrast ratio is incorrect.
- Incorrect Label Life
It’s important to know the proper label for your situation when you think about label life. For example, high-quality thermal transfer printed labels will outlive direct thermal printed labels. You have to know how long your label must last if you are using direct thermal labels.
If you are producing labels that must survive for an extended period, or have to withstand harsh conditions like sun, extreme temperatures, etc., you must consider that. If you don’t, you’re setting your label up for failure. In all of these cases, make sure you use thermal transfer labels.
However, if your label will likely have a short lifespan and will likely be indoors with no exposure to elements, direct thermal labels should work fine. You also must pay close attention to any laws in your industry. Patient privacy, for example, requires direct thermal since you do not want private information surviving indefinitely.
Tri-State Business Systems can help you avoid label failures by helping you find the right label for your situation. We recommend Zebra Technologies printing supplies because their labels have an extensive testing process. Zebra sends every label through a 23-point inspection and doesn’t use substitute materials to make them. You won’t find better labels on the market. Give us a call, and we can discuss your situation today.